James Comey Responds to Inspector General Report

He disagrees but respects the process
By Janet Cromley,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2018 7:29 PM CDT
Part of the the Department of Justice Inspector General's report after its release in Washington, Thursday, June 14, 2018. The report documented in painstaking detail one of the most consequential investigations...   (AP Photo/Jon Elswick)

(Newser) – James Comey has penned an opinion piece in response to the Department of Justice’s much anticipated internal watchdog report, which criticizes the former FBI director’s actions surrounding the agency’s investigation of Hillary Clinton’s email account. The inspector general’s 500-plus page report faulted Comey for announcing the completion of the email investigation without first coordinating with the attorney general, and it says he erred again in October when he told Congress that the agency had reopened the investigation. It concluded that Comey’s decisions were not the result of political bias, but that “by departing so clearly and dramatically from FBI and department norms, the decisions negatively impacted the perception of the FBI and the department as fair administrators of justice.”

In his defense, Comey says that in 2016 his team “faced an extraordinary situation—something I thought of as a 500-year flood—offering no good choices and presenting some of the hardest decisions I ever had to make.” Further, when Attorney General Loretta Lynch didn’t recuse herself and said she would rely on Comey’s recommendation, he felt he should go to extraordinary lengths to be transparent, hence the announcement that Clinton would not be prosecuted and the later announcement to Congress that the case had been reopened. “Before 2016, I could never have imagined doing such a thing,” he says. Of the IG report, he concludes, "This is what institutions devoted to the rule of law and accountability look like. They look back at their hardest decisions and collect the facts, and are transparent with the world about those facts and decisions." Read the full piece. (Read more opinion stories.)

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